Photo Diary: Grafene Taster Menu

A dessert dish at Grafene Manchester

A return visit that didn’t disappoint

After I had enjoyed a glorious meal at Grafene with a friend back in March, Andrew was keen to see what he had missed out on. So I was chuffed (northern adjective: pleased with myself!) when he booked us in for the seven course taster menu.

It’s such a slick place, and the staff are great. Not being a drinker, the bar staff asked what I liked and made me a mocktail to my sour specification. We were sat in a big plush booth which was just perfect for the feast being served up. Continue Reading

Cheesy Vegetable Stack With Curds And Croust Cheese

Curds and Croust cheese review and vegetable stack recipe / SHE-EATS

It’s that most wonderful time of the year: hot and sunny one minute followed by hail, rain and chills the next. I go to work in a rain coat and it’s boiling, leave my jacket at home and get soaked.

In months like this my appetite, as well as my mood, still craves comfort. And I don’t know about you but cheese is a comfort blanket I know I can trust.

So many trip to the supermarket for a soft cheese have ended in disappointment: creamy but tasteless, rock hard, claggy…or somehow all three. But then a cheesy care package arrived and all my prayers were answered. *insert angelic choirs here*

Curds and Croust make small batch soft cheese in Cornwall. Made by hand in the traditional way, everything about this cheese is filled with love- starting with the creamy milk which is all sourced locally.

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Grafene, Manchester

deconstructed Eccles cake / Grafene, Manchester / SHE-EATS

Grafene on King Street in Manchester has a new chef and a new menu, so I took a friend for a mid-week treat to see what we though.

Chef Ben Mounsey has only been at the helm for a few weeks, but he has already changed the look of the Grafene menu with his very modern take on classic British ingredients and dishes. He says that his dishes “avoid the obvious” and from what we saw and ate that night this is very true.

Currently the menu is £45 for three courses with bread and ‘surprises’ which in my opinion is great for the quality we received. Continue Reading

Calçotada Festival at Lunya, Manchester

Dipping calcot onions in to sauce / Calçotada in Manchester with Lunya / SHE-EATSI love when a very local, specific food item is idolised when it’s season arrives. Currently here in the UK we have Yorkshire rhubarb appearing in shops, and the early stems are sought out by chefs and home cooks like the precious pink jewels that they are. Over in the Catalan region of Spain, the sweet onion called a calçot is so prized that a whole festival honors it: the calçotada. Here in Manchester and Liverpool, Lunya had a calçot dish on the menu while they were in season, and they created their own calçotada right here in Manchester to bring some Catalan sunshine to a hum drum Monday evening!

Calçotada comes to Manchester

Lunya is big on Spanish and Catalan hospitality. Owners Peter and Elaine Kinsella greeted all their guests at their Manchester calçotada with Spanish treats from the deli downstairs. Peter told us how a calçotada works – it is basically a feast which goes on all day sometimes, all washed down with cava. Importantly he showed us how to drink the accompanying cava from a porron. Years of experience have made him a pro!

Bottle of Vilarnau cava / Calçotada in Manchester with Lunya / SHE-EATS Continue Reading

Gin and Orange Cake

Birds eye view of square Bundt cake with pink drizzle / Brockmans Gin and Orange Cake recipe / SHE-EATSJust because I can’t drink at the mo doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy good products. I sniff Andrew’s wine when he opens a good Malbec and it’s almost as good as drinking it. When I cook with spirits I taste a tablespoon (my limit before it makes me iffy) to get a good idea of of the flavour and what ingredients I can make it work with. So it was that the idea for this gin and orange cake was born from a single sip of the good stuff!

Kitchen Aid, Gin and Blood Oranges / Brockmans Gin and Orange Cake recipe / SHE-EATS

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Life After Brain Surgery: 7 months on

Author pointing at head after getting told tumour was beneign / Life after brain surgery 7 months on / Meningioma / SHE-EATS

I find it hard to believe that it’s been seven months since my meningioma was removed. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, others it’s a distant memory. Not my usual foodie post, but one I felt that I wanted to share, to help others with a meningioma. Fair warning- there’s lots of my face when you scroll down!

** Note for fellow neuro folk – this post contains a moving gif **

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Afternoon tea at The Courthouse, Knutsford

A plate of sweet pastries / The Courthouse Knutsford / Afternoon Tea / SHE-EATS

Sweet!

If there’s a better way to spend an afternoon than eating cake, drinking tea and chatting with friends then I’m yet to find it. Afternoon tea is an opportunity to kick back with friends and bite sized food means you can nibble without it getting in the way of the chatter. Because we all know that the main reason for afternoon tea is to natter with friends!

The Courthouse was the location of my latest afternoon tea.* As the name suggests, this handsome building was indeed once home to the court in Knutsford town centre, but some sympathetic refurbishment has now seen a restaurant named Barristers and function rooms open, with boutique style bedrooms soon to follow.

A vintage cup and saucer / The Courthouse Knutsford / Afternoon Tea / SHE-EATS

Everything stops for tea…and cake!

We we treated to not one, but two types of afternoon tea at The Courthouse – and yes dear reader, I ate it all!  Continue Reading

Vigor Energy Balls

Three packs of energy balls / Vigor protein ball energy balls / SHE-EATSBalls. Protein balls. Probably not something you expected to pop up on SHE-EATS eh. But let me tell you, my husband is like the human dustbin ; there is no filling him up when he has been to the gym! So I was happy when some Vigor protein energy balls dropped through the letter box for us to try.

I’ve never eaten a protein ball in my life before now, assuming they were the mainstay of gym bunnies and ‘clean eaters’ (*eye roll*) with pink hued Insta grids, but the more I thought about them, the more they make sense as a sensible snack as I try my hardest to fight my sweet tooth. Andrew will often need a snack after the gym/ before tea/ after tea. So a protein hit will stave off that hunger. Also, when we go for a walk, better to have a small snack we can drop in to a pocket rather than get hungry and hit the cake as soon as we are done. Continue Reading

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